archer in chambray

i keep seeing chambray archers and rtw button ups in chambray. chambray this, chambray that… chambray is everywhere! and i finally got in on the action. (p.s. is it just me or does the word “chambray” start to sound very funny, very quickly? or maybe that’s just me…) i was under the impression that chambray was a tad pricy based on what they charge at joanns, then i spotted some at a local fabric store (fabric place basement) for $5 or $6/yd. stoopid joanns. i picked up a couple yards and knew it was destined to be an archer. i heart you grainline studio. just sayin’.


i decided to go david coffin all over this shirt and flat fell my seams, stretch my collar, and tower placket my sleeve. this is the real deal folks. plus, it was good practice for making more business shirts for the hubbs.


my pencil skirt is self drafted and sewn up in double knit (made last fall). nothing earth shattering, hence it’s lack of appearance on le blog.

for sizing, i went back to the size 4 of my original make and simply redrew the top part of the armhole so that the shoulder seam hit closer to my actual shoulder (shaved off about 1/2″). then i graded the back piece only from waist to hem out to a size 8 and matched up the hem lengths. i added about 1″ to the sleeve length to accommodate my monkey arms, and made a proper tower placket.


the under collar as drafted is two pieces cut on the bias. i assume the bias cut is to help the collar roll softly, but this time i cut the upper and under collar the same and used david coffin’s techniques of trimming and stretching to achieve the proper shape. it’s easy to do and works so well! i also used a stiffer woven fusible for the cuffs and collar, the same stuff i’ve used in business shirts.


my pics are post a trip through the wash and dryer… and i’m really lame at ironing.

man i love this shirt. i’m also pleased that i’ve become so comfortable with shirtmaking techniques. i won’t be churning them out on a daily basis quite yet but they’re definitely less stressful than they were a few short months ago when i made my first. i’m having breakthroughs people. breakthroughs. yay for sewing!


yup. had to include the token “tucked into a pencil skirt and belted” look.

i’m just curious… i know i’ll be making more shirts possibly in the near future. are there any specific parts that you would desperately want to see documented? i don’t think i have the patience to step-by-step an entire shirt, but if there are any burning questions out there now’s your chance to throw your two cents in!

—lisa g.

30 thoughts on “archer in chambray

  1. K-Line says:

    OK, in truth, I don’t much like the Archer pattern (it’s just not my thing) and I HATE chambray – and you’ve managed to make something that’s just adorable, that fits beatifully and that works perfectly. Not 80s like at all! Guess that’s why they tell you to keep an open mind 🙂

    • lisa g says:

      i totally hear you! when i first saw the archer i was pretty meh about the pattern. then making shirts for my husband made me want my own…

  2. dokucug says:

    LOVE this! This is exactly the shirt I want! You are definitely the shirt-making queen these days! And I think this one works better un-ironed – it’s like, “Yeah, I’m awesome and I don’t even have to work that hard at it!” Now you need a maxi skirt to go with it 😉

  3. Shar says:

    I want this exact shirt too! I bet you’ll get a lot of wear out of it. I never iron unless I’m sewing. Once the garment is made up it never sees the iron again. Bummer – I was going to write that I wanted to see all the shirt making parts. Maybe you could focus on a different section for each shirt you make? I bought the Negroni a while ago to make my husband a shirt and I haven’t even opened the package yet.

    • lisa g says:

      it’s definitely a “go with everything” type of shirt. i don’t have the negroni, but i imagine the instructions are fairly comprehensive. no need to be afraid!

  4. Andrea says:

    Great Archer! I’ve made several shirts by this point but I hate hate hate hate fiddling with the collar stand. My collar stands are always a mess, because they’re bulky and difficult to shape right and get perfectly aligned with the button placket edge. And topstitching them is tricky because of the curves, and you have to think about what it looks like on both the right and wrong side, since the wrong side shows when you have your top buttons undone. Anyway, I’d love to see you demonstrate your collar stand sewing tips and tricks.

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! the stand is definitely the hardest part for me also. i think part of the problem is that patterns are drafted with a fairly steep curve. i’ve finally noticed that the curve on rtw shirts is shaped differently. in the future i’ll probably re-draft the curve and i suspect it will be easier to sew! i do know how to get rid of the excess bulk though, and that’s half the battle!

  5. irene says:

    Your shirt looks fabulous! Great fit and construction! I made my first attempt at shirt sewing about one month ago with a muslin of Kwik Sew Pattern #3555 shirt and, although I made several mistakes, the result was better than I expected- I was in awe of shirt sewing before. So, I am planning to go more into shirt sewing for myself and my hubs – and your shirt is an additional motivation!. What I would like you to document is the construction of the front placket (the one I muslined didn’t have one) and the collar.

  6. Susan says:

    I second (seventh?) everyone who said let’s see a tutorial re: the under collar part — you’ve got me curious about that now! I’m not sure how many more times I can tell you how much I lovelovelove this make… but you know. I do. 🙂

    • lisa g says:

      well thanks! i thought i was gonna put this pattern away until fall, but i may have picked out fabric for another… and i think i’ll be documenting the collar process!

  7. Kelly says:

    It looks awesome, so professional! I was looking at those tower plackets on my husband’s shirts and wondering how to do it. But I am with Andrea, I would like to see details on the collar stand, mine turned out OK but I think it was easier because it was a really thin (like voile) chambray. But again, nice work, it looks great!

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! the tower placket looks way harder than it actually is. i did take in-progress pics from a previous make but my pics were so awful (late at night sewing…) that i deleted them! so i may do a post on that also!

  8. poppykettle says:

    I love it. I also love the upclose shots of your gorgeous placket and top stitching… and those cute-as tortoiseshell buttons! A perfect match. I saw this post the other day (at work – no commenting at work!) and you’ve given me a fresh bout of enthusiasm for completing my current shirt WIP. Thanks 🙂
    ps – go the red buttonhole!

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